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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Yuri Khmylev

(Born August 9, 1964) -- No matter how you spelled his name, Yuri Khmylev was a good hockey player.

The Russian native really had two different careers. He played 11 years for the Soviet Wings, and made a good impact on the international level as well. The forward won a World Junior title in 1984, world championships in 1986 and 1989, and a gold medal at the Olympics in 1992.

Khmylev was drafted in the fifth round by the Sabres in 1992. He was about to turn 28. In other words, this wasn’t a typical rookie. He scored 20 goals in his first season and 27 more the following year. Khmylev often played on a line with Pat LaFontaine and Alexander Mogilny.

Late in the 1995-96 season, the veteran went to St. Louis in a trade. Buffalo picked up a draft choice that turned into Maxim Afinogenov eventually. Khmylev only played in nine more games in the NHL after that trade.



He went back to Buffalo after retirement and works for the Sabres as a scout. His daughter, Olga, is a top college tennis player. Maybe she’ll make this space some day.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.